FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - As the fight for higher teacher pay continues, one school district superintendent is hoping to take things into his own hands.
Money talks and Fairfield County Superintendent J.R. Green wants to have a conversation. After a proposal from Green, the school board voted to implement a $5,000 yearly bonus for teachers to make sure new talent comes to the district, and old talent stays in.
“If the legislators are successful at moving us toward an additional five percent increase, that puts us somewhere in the ballpark of total compensation of $44,500 for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree,” Green said. “This will probably have our starting compensation the highest in the state when you look at total compensation.”
Governor McMaster included that five percent pay raise in his executive budget this morning, so things are looking optimistic, but Green says they don’t just want to look out for teachers.
“We need to recognize the importance of improving the compensation of bus drivers, cafeteria workers,” he said “All classified staff would receive a $3000 incentive. Our goal is to administer this incentive every year.”
In a rural community, Green says it’s tough to draw in and keep teachers, but he’s hoping this bonus will put Fairfield County in a position to truly be competitive.
“We want teachers to feel as if you don’t need to have to work a second job in order to sustain your family,” he said. “We’re trying to do all that we can to make the profession more appealing. To not only our young people but our current education professionals.”
One million dollars was set aside for salaries last year, and Green says an additional $1.8 million will be allocated towards these retention bonuses.